Careers: Which discipline to study in?

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I was recently asked by a prospective grad student about which discipline would be the best fit for his interests in visual history in east asia. Here's part of my response:

Thank you for your e-mail. That's an interesting conundrum you have there. In a sense, disciplines are so amorphous these days that you could conceivable do an ethnographic project in a history department or history/film criticism in an anthro department for your PhD. However, the reality is that the job market is a bit more conservative and you should give some thought as to what would be a good fit. The most important question would be which division do you see yourself most in: humanities, social sciences, or fine arts? Who would you prefer to have as colleagues -- and who would you have evaluate your work?

Or, the other question might be, which journals do you see publishing your work? I'd spend some time browsing the main journals of the disciplines you're interested in. Note that there are many subdisciplines and so you should look at those as well. But in order to get tenure at upper tier colleges, you should have at least one article in one of the main journals of your discipline, so you should look through back numbers and see if anyone is doing anything similar to what you're interested in -- and is able to get published.

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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on June 24, 2005 11:18 PM.

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